This time of year always leaves me feeling a little run down. Okay, that's a lie. It leaves me feeling A LOT run down. But 'tis the season, right?
Don't get me wrong. I love the holidays. I mean, I'm the Festive-freaking-Farmhouse (it's kind of my Super Bowl). But every year about this time, I start to slowly fade. And the thing is, I've never been able to put my finger on exactly why. But this year it came to me. And it was a hard realization to face.
Are you ready?
I'm not the Mom I wanted to be.
And something about the holidays makes it so painfully apparent.
I think I had these perfect dreams of me and the children decorating the tree, or making Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses. But the reality is, I'm so exhausted from it all that I don't have the patience for any of it.
I get all itchy when the kids hang all of the ornaments on ONE SINGLE BRANCH. I lose my cool when they throw flour everywhere after I just cleaned the floor. I can't stand Elf on a Shelf. And I find myself magically needing to "do the dishes" whenever we break out the Gingerbread house. Not only that, I had the wrong date for the school Christmas party...AND we missed the Christmas program altogether. #momoftheyear
I finally broke down tonight, because I just can't seem to get it together. And that wasn't how I planned it, AT ALL.
I always thought I'd be more like Mary Poppins. I thought I'd have my ducklings in a row and then some. I thought I'd be Room Mom and PTA President, but instead I can barely sign my kid's homework sheet every night (and let's be honest, sometimes I don't).
I'm not the Mom I wanted to be. I'm THAT MOM.
And while I've been feeling it year-round, the holiday season seems to point it out so poignantly.
But...it's also forced me to do a little soul searching, which is how I came up with this little gem:
Maybe I'm not the Mom I wanted to be. And while it's unbelievably hard (and sad) to mourn that fact, maybe I can try embrace the Mom that I AM.
I may not do Elf on a Shelf, but I still have fun with my kids. (We wake them up for Christmas light-looking every single year...pajamas, hot cocoa and all.) I may not be good with flour-y messes, but I throw a mean kitchen dance party (seriously, our kitchen TRULY IS for dancing). I'm completely Type A, which...okay...isn't so great for decorating the tree, but I'm good at teaching my kids about slowing down, breathing deep, and handling emotions when things don't turn out how we expected. And I may make mistakes, like forgetting to sign the homework sheet (or, yes, getting the date wrong for the class party) but I can model how I handle it when I do. I can teach them to not be afraid of mistakes, but instead how to learn from them to make us better. And above all...I can show them the importance of showing yourself grace and forgiveness (something my kids see me work on every day).
This parenting thing is hard. We're in a tough season, y'all. And there's no owner's manual (seriously, God...whyyyyyyy?)
But it's just a season, like any other. And much like the one we're currently in.
'Tis the season for lights and music and carols, yes. But it's also the season for grace, and humility, and finding beauty in everything imperfect.
There is BEAUTY in the lowly manger. And that gives me hope for any other season that comes my way.
I'm not the Mom I wanted be. But I can be proud of the Mom that I am.
Merry Christmas, sweet friends. And to all the other exhausted Mommas out there barely hanging on by a thread....just a few more days. Then, WE NAP.
Love to you all,